John Niven: The Second Coming published by William Heinemann
(Do not read if you can’t understand that scrutinizing some forms of organized religion or religious interpreted beliefs, is meant as anything but a critical look meant for reflection and room for improvement)!
Not a new concept to write about God not being satisfied with what humans interpret to be his philosophy(interesting also G.H. Preston The Songs of Angels).
Here God, a swearing, dope smoking, music and literary aficionado takes a brief fishing holiday during the middle ages and returns about 400 years later, to a human race he does not recognize. His be nice motto ignored and free will turned into a free fall into religious wars, genocides, famines, plundering the planet for profits, bigotry and hatred. After a big board meeting in the sky, he takes JC for a dinner chat with Lucifer, where Reagan and Hitler are waiter and busboy in Hell’s Kitchen(…right there you can see the author beginning to draw on actual historical characters and you will either have to have read sufficiently or google ad nauseam to realize whom he is talking about). Lucifer’s take on what his increased business down below is that no one is interested in being good for its own sake, prompts God to send JC back to re-teach the meaning of be nice.
What follows in his second tour on earth, is a satirical view of our society, represented by our obsession with reality shows(the manipulating, profiteering ring leaders of that industry), organized religious groups(preaching or interpreting the good book, to fit their disturbed view of all things different) and over zealous law enforcement agencies.
Final score: Good guys: 1
Bad guys: pending
Altogether an interesting take on the picture of God, alas not a totally new one in literature. I prefer this concept to the one the so-called Christians and zealots have been distributing across the globe and throughout history of a vengeful Creator – this theory clashes too much with what the philosophy of religions are to me: Guidelines to live together peacefully and respectfully- not a call for wars and competition.